October 31, 2017

How and why politicians exploit Veterans Day

Why politicians hated Armistice Day but love Veterans Day Retweet

By Perry Willis

Veterans Day will be observed on Friday, November 10th this year. It used to be called Armistice Day, in memory of the moment when the First World War ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

Armistice Day was a valuable holiday!

It reminded people of the biggest mistake the political class ever made — a world war fought over nothing! Alas, the politicians could not abide such a reminder of their own folly, and so they changed Armistice Day into something they could exploit — Veterans Day.

Whereas Armistice Day highlighted the dangers of militarism and interventionism, politicians now use Veterans Day to promote those schemes. They loudly proclaim…

“Our soldiers fought to preserve our freedom!”

We want to stress-test that claim. We will, as we have done before previous military holidays, circulate a series of articles. Each article will review a different U.S. war and answer the following questions…

  • Did the war defend America?
  • Did the war defend freedom?
  • Did the war improve things?

We believe the evidence is overwhelming that U.S. wars have…

  • Endangered U.S. security
  • Reduced freedom
  • Harmed the world
  • Injured and destroyed veterans for little benefit

You’ll be able to judge for yourself as we present the evidence. We do this because…

We want to prevent the loss of more young lives in useless wars!

Alas, experience has taught us that we can’t speak the truth on either Veterans Day or Memorial Day. We’re met with howls of outrage on those days, while sweet-sounding lies are embraced with enthusiasm. Fortunately, we’ve found a more receptive audience in the days immediately before Veterans Day and Memorial Day. So look for several articles over the next couple of weeks, before the holiday.

In preparation, I want you to quickly consider the two most common criticisms I’ve received about my articles…

  1. I supposedly blame America for everything.
  2. I supposedly benefit from hindsight based on knowledge that was unavailable at the time.

If you read my articles closely then I think you’ll see that the second criticism is completely untrue. All of my arguments are based on facts that were widely known at the time. And the charge that I blame America for everything is equally false. I don’t blame America for anything! I blame U.S. politicians! But I do focus on the U.S. for two important reasons…

  1. The U.S. is so powerful that its mistakes have a disproportionate impact on the world. It’s been said in many ways by many people, “When the U.S. catches a cold the rest of the world catches the flu.”
  2. I have some small ability to influence things in my own country, but almost none in other countries.

If you find the series of articles we’re about to present of value, please share them with others. Start a conversation about the correct way to honor veterans and the war dead. We believe it should be possible to honor their courage and mourn their loss, without telling lies about how they were used. And if you’re new to our work and like what you see, please subscribe using the form near the bottom of our homepage! It’s free!

Perry Willis is a co-founder of Downsize DC and the co-creator of the Zero Aggression Project

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